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Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

This is my Stop

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The Armed Compound is a Reality

Today I’m trying something new: golf cart blogging. I’m in the woods east of my house, sitting in my E-Z-GO, drinking an Arizona Watermelon cocktail. I have the laptop with me, and I’m using my phone as a router.

I’m typing during the eclipse, which is on the way out now. I did not make any effort to observe it, but when I walked out of my dad’s hospital, I noticed that the sun was casting thousands of crescent-shaped lights on the sidwalk. To see an eclipse, you look down, not up.

Traditionally, eclipses have been considered bad omens, and lunar eclipses have been considered particularly ominous for Israel. I don’t know if it amounts to anything. I have not seen a correlation. I find eclipses themselves kind of dull, but it’s neat to see how the world becomes darker while staying sunny. I remember seeing that when I was a kid.

My dad is in the hospital because he refused to wait for me to give him his prescriptions two days ago. I already wrote about this. We were leaving a hotel in Kissimmee, and I asked him to wait by the car while I got the birds. They were in travel cages in my room. He wanted to take his pills, and I told him he needed to let me get them for him. When I got back to the car, he had a bag of bottles in his hands, and he was taking things. I had to pull the bag out of his fingers to get him to stop.

The next morning, in the new house, he came to my bedroom and said he didn’t know where he was.

I thought he had had a stroke, but it looks like he took the wrong dose of one drug and slowed his heart rate down to the point where it affected his thinking. I learn new lessons all the time, and now I’ve learned I have to keep his prescriptions in a special place.

The day we left Miami, he insisted he was not going to give up driving. He said he was perfectly able to find his way around the neighborhood. He was adamant. He was angry. He got in the car and tried to go to a Wendy’s about a mile and a half away. I didn’t see him again for several hours.

I used a phone app to track him, and I saw that he was several miles north of Coral Gables, driving in random directions, as if he were using dice to choose his way. I ended up chasing him down with the app. I found him near Northwest 79th Street, which is about 12 miles from where he should have been. Instead of leaving reasonably early and taking a leisurely drive to Ocala, we ended up leaving late and checking into the hotel in Kissimmee at about 1 a.m., and needless to say, a lot of loose ends down south remained loose.

I took the car keys, and I figured things would be okay, and then came the pill incident.

The movers didn’t finish putting everything where it should be. As Miami’s final slap in the face, the moving company sent three Cubans who did not speak any English. The job called for six, at least one of whom could communicate. They finally left at about midnight, promising to come back in a few days. Will I see them again? Search me.

I have one friend in Ocala, and she has been a godsend. When I texted her about my dad’s hospital stay, she drove to the hospital on her day off to visit him and see if he was okay. This gave me time to buy towels and some other things we needed. When I caught up with her at the hospital, she showed me where the Wal-Mart was, and I loaded up on waste baskets and so on.

Her ex-husband is a lawyer. Well, that’s not true. He used to be a lawyer. He stole a lot of money from two clients, and he is currently a guest of the state, awaiting final sentencing. Long story. She and I kept each other laughing with tales of our dysfunctional families. For example, we discussed the time her 350-pound great aunt got in the bathtub against everyone’s advice and got stuck there, and then insisted my friend lift her out.

The ex-husband is a strange case. The videotape of one of his hearings is online, and I decided to watch it. The judge asked him about his education level, and he said, “nineteenth grade.” What can you say about that? You’re talking to the person who decides how much time you get, and you decide to make a joke? I would not have made that choice. It may explain why the judge denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. He could be looking at 10 years or more.

The house, shop, and grounds are wonderful. The shop is going to be big enough for all my tools, and it’s already set up with a security system, a powered garage door on one end, and a chain-driven roll-up door on the other. It has a nice porch outside, with a swing and 4 plastic Adirondack chairs. When I experience failure and frustration with my tools, I can go out there, sit in one of the chairs, and sulk in the shade.

I have endless room to store my junk, so for the first time in years, I will not have to worry about clutter. I can’t get over that.

The area is like medicine to me. The people are polite. Nearly everyone speaks English. I see Trump stickers all over the place. The traffic is a joke. The landscape is very pretty. I can’t wait for the August heat to die down so I can enjoy Marion County even more.

I have some stress related to my dad’s little surprises, as well as the movers’ interesting business methods, but other than that, I have peace here. I’m trying to get used to the fact that everyone isn’t angry at me, the way they are in Miami. I was right about that place. It wasn’t me; it was Miami.

My friend Travis called and said he had a dream about me. He’s house sitting for me. He said he dreamed an angry hag tried to get into the house. At first, he didn’t know who it was, but it turned out to be my sister. That makes sense. She has been used against me all my life. Whatever it is that drives her is probably not pleased that I’m out here living among Christians.

Travis has had prophetic dreams before, so this one could be legit. He’s very concerned because so many of his strong Christian friends have left Miami. He thinks something bad is going to happen. Of course, something bad has already happened. It became Miami. How much worse could it get?

I guess I should fire up the Mach 5 and get back to the barn. In a month or two, I should be able to blog out here in 70-degree weather. That will be something. Maybe I’ll have some rifle targets to show you.

Expect more move-related posts. This adventure is just starting.

The Liberation of A. MacMoofing

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

GANGWAY!

If you want to have a thrilling experience that will leave you gasping, don’t buy a wingsuit and jump off Mount Everest. Hire movers to move your grand piano.

Today I watched movers turn my piano on its side and roll it outdoors. It’s like watching nurses play catch with your newborn child. Anyway, they seem to know what they’re doing.

Of course, the movers are doing more than I required in the original estimate. I’m handling everything myself, so it was not possible to get every possession packed. The cost went up a few hundred dollars, and it may go up more tomorrow. C’est la vie. That’s what money is for.

I still can’t get used to the idea that I’m leaving this miserable city. Day after tomorrow, I will be in MY house, in northern Florida. I won’t be a tourist or a guest. I’ll be a resident.

It’s frustrating, trying to do things in the right order. My tools are on a truck right now, so all the things I wanted to do with tools this week are not possible. I needed tools to prepare some things for the move! I had to rely on the movers and their pathetic tools. My lathe has a wooden tool shelf on it, and the shelf has to be removed for the trip north. The shelf uses special bolts. They’re not original to the lathe. I keep the originals in one of my rolling tool chests. Guess when I remembered that? After they started moving my tools into the truck. Thank God they hadn’t taken the chest yet.

Whoops. I have to get up and let them pack crystal. I’ll be back.

I have started to think there is no intelligent, efficient way to move. My obligations in South Florida are a bit screwed up, and there is nothing I can do about it. People are just going to have to show me a little patience. Or drive 300 miles to see me if they want a confrontation. By the time they get there, I should already have the security alligators trained.

I had to move in the most cloudless, blistering, glaring August in history. I hate to say anything that might make a global warming nut puff up and crow, but the sun is about an inch from the ground today. I actually had to walk around it to get to the car. It’s one of those Augusts when the sun follows you in the house. You sit in the air-conditioned shade and feel the sun’s heat and glare through the walls. Even when you close your eyes, you want sunglasses.

I feel like Miami is angry at me for leaving, and I suppose it is. There are big, filthy spirits assigned to various geographical areas, and I’m sure the ones that run Miami enjoy the suffering I endure here. I think they’re turning it up to punish me for going AWOL. It seems like people are ruder and more crass than ever this week. More people turning in front of me without turn signals. More people running yield signs simply because Carlos the Random Miamian and his leased Range Rover are more important than I am. More traffic backups. Papa John’s sent me a guy who could not say three words of English. I’m so busy I debase myself by ordering Papa John’s, and they rub it in by sending me an illegal who can’t say, “Twenty dollars and forty-two cents.”

That is some bad pizza, by the way. Really revolting. The cheese is fake (look up the ingredients), and they put about half an ounce of each topping on the pie. Flour and tomatoes are nearly free, so of course, that’s what Papa John’s sells you. Anything even slightly costly they dole out in tiny amounts more suitable for snorting than eating. They might as well chop the toppings into lines and serve them on a mirror.

At some point tomorrow, my dad’s TV will be packed. I do not look forward to that. He is not good at dealing with minor inconveniences. He was already bored with 800 channels. Now he will have…0 channels. That means he will be 800 divided by 0 times as bored. And we won’t have cable until next week. I may check into a motel by myself and claim I was abducted by aliens.

The flying saucer kind, not the lawn-mowing kind. Although for all I know, Salvadorans are already sneaking over Neptune’s border.

I found out I can use my cell phone to stream Youtube to my TV in Ocala. That’s really something. I can barely send a text message here, and the Internet is slower than Morse code in Ocala, but the phone service up there is so good I’ll be able to watch Youtube. Explain that to me. The phone should be lightning fast in Miami, and it’s not. The Internet should be faster than 1.5 MBPS in Ocala, but it’s not. The cell service in Ocala should be pretty slow…but it’s not. Whatever. As long as I can watch my machining channels with breakfast, life will be good.

Who am I kidding? Life will be magnificent. I’m not going to be in Miami! If I get bored, I’ll hop on my golf cart and tour the grounds with my AK-47. I’ll go lift something with my tractor. I’ll go for a drive! You can do that in Marion County! You can drive for pleasure! Unless you count riding my motorcycles at night, I haven’t done that since maybe 1990. Maybe I’ll just go to McDonald’s and ORDER IN ENGLISH!!!!

“I want two McMuffins.” “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh…joo Juan A. MacMoofings?”

I’m going to change my name to A. MacMoofing.

Water. I should drink some water. I’ve been drinking it all day, and if you will excuse me for being indelicate, it’s all intake and no output. Too much work. Too much heat. I think it’s affecting my brain. I need to pump some water into it.

I guess I’ve wound down enough. Time to stop writing.

I may be able to write something tomorrow, and then again, I may not. If this is the last blog entry I ever write from this county, let me take the high road and say I will always try to remember my experiences here without heaving. No promises.

Porch: There is no Substitute

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Hola, Amigos

I am back in the land of joy, better known as Miami. I returned from Ocala today, and I am already basking in the rudeness and stupidity. As soon as I hit Palm Beach County, other drivers got nastier and less able.

We closed on the new house today. It’s a done deal. The sellers will stay on for two weeks, and then we take possession. It’s still not entirely real to me.

The property is far nicer than anything I thought possible. It’s secluded, it’s large, it has woods, it has pasture, it has a big ol’ shop building, and it even has a huge sand berm which will be a fine rifle backstop. Sonny’s BBQ is five minutes away, as is Cracker Barrel. Tractor Supply is close. The nearest neighbor is a guy who built a gun ROOM in his garage. Not a safe. A room with a thick steel door. Think he’ll complain about me shooting? I don’t.

The sellers kept giving me stuff. Today they gave us the rockers on the front porch. The house has a huge collection of porches. There’s a front porch with a gazebo on one end. There’s a back porch. The shop has a porch. The pool has a patio, which is sort of a porch. Rockers are a necessity. I’m not sure what rockers cost, but today at Cracker Barrel, I saw they were charging between one and two hundred bucks for one.

My only serious whine right now is that my dad doesn’t share my enthusiasm. He truly hates Miami and can’t wait to move, and he likes Ocala and the house, but he’s not excited about it. He doesn’t have that Charlie-getting-the-keys-to-the-chocolate-factory feeling I have. So I pester my friends via text.

Two years ago he thought Miami was just fine. What happened? God happened. That’s all I can tell you. My dad has changed. He complains about the people. He complains about the traffic. He sounds just like me, only without the joy over the impending move.

It seems like he has slipped a notch over the last week or two. That’s the way these things work. I’m glad we finally got the house bought, because it might have been a very strange process further down the line. I don’t know what his capabilities will be in six months. I’m certainly glad he has been able to participate in the house hunt and get involved with decisions. I wanted a place where he would be happy.

I’m fairly sure I can get us out of here in three weeks. I don’t know how often I’ll have to come back. “Never” would be my choice.

I can’t figure out why the sellers are so nice. I could sell the machinery they sold me for twice what I paid, and they didn’t expect me to pay as much as I did. They came down a lot on the price of the house. The appraiser felt it was underpriced already. Maybe they’re just tired and ready to move.

I hope I got a good deal, but I was not trying to gouge anyone. I just wanted a fair price. Maybe I did better than that. There is no way to be sure.

Next time I go up I’ll try to take pictures and post them.

I’m beat. Time for pizza. I’m so tired I’m willing to eat Papa John’s.

I look forward to blogging from one of the many porches.

Buying the Farm

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The End is Near!

I can’t put all my business on the World Wide Web, but I can say that the day of reckoning is nearly here. My dad is about to close on a farm in northern Florida. Very shortly, my well-deserved captivity in Miami will come to an end.

The other day a friend asked if “the reality of the move” was sinking in. She was talking about my dad, but it made me think. I have not fully absorbed it, myself.

Physical captivity ends quickly. When they release a man from prison, it takes less than a day to put him on the street. The passage through the prison gate takes an instant. The time it takes for him to feel free inside is longer.

It sounds dramatic, comparing a move between a reasonably affluent American city and a pleasant rural home to being released from prison, and of course, I am not suggesting my time here has been anything like what prisoners go through. I’m just talking about the principle. I felt trapped in this place. It seemed like all my efforts to break free were hindered or cut off. I felt (feel) claustrophobic. I look forward to seeing the horizon once in a while. I look forward to getting away from these rude, coarse people.

In a text message yesterday, I referred to the new place as “the farm,” as if I already owned it. I crossed a little threshold there. I don’t have to call it “the house we’re buying” or “the place we made an offer on.” It’s “the farm” now.

What will I do up there? I only have one friend in the whole county. I’ll be fine. These days, I only have one friend in Dade County. It won’t be much different. I have friends in Orlando and Kissimmee, and I know they’ll visit. Once I start attending a church, I’ll make friends. I don’t need a lot of people to be happy. I tend to pick up parasites and abusers, and a small crowd is easier to vet.

For the first month, I’ll be busy settling in, and I’ll also be taking care of problems in Dade County. I know I’ll have to come back here several times. I was dreading it, but then I thought about it, and I realized it’s much better to visit this place than to live here. When I visit Marion County, I leave an unpleasant place, relax in a nice place, and drive back to an unpleasant place for a long stay. When I visit Miami, it will be a photographic negative of that experience. The pain of Miami will be fleeting, and when I leave, it will be for longer and longer periods, soon to become permanent.

I wish I didn’t have to come back. It would be fine with me if this county sank into the earth. But I can cope with visiting. The pain will be mingled with triumph.

Moving is like settling down into a bath that kills ticks, fleas, lice, and leeches. One by one, I will feel the little mouths and claws let go, and the slime of their presence will be washed away.

We live surrounded by spirits. Miami is a cesspool of demon worship, so I believe things are worse here. The county is full of Hispanics and Haitians who actively pursue demons and pledge their lives to them. It makes me wonder…will I feel better up north simply because I’m no longer living in a demonic hub? I’ll bet I do. I’ll bet things go better up there, simply because Satan has fewer personnel available to torment me, and because God has more people to fight them.

The money for the house will have to be wired. Most people buy homes with loans, so they don’t go through what I’m going through. I have to take a sizeable part of a person’s net worth and send it off in what amounts to a bank-to-bank email. There are all sorts of ways for that to go wrong.

While I was suffering with my continuing legal education [sic], I learned a lot about the ways criminals steal money in cyberspace. Here’s one of the smarter ways: a wire recipient sends you his banking info. A crook intercepts it, substitutes his own info, and sends it on to you. You use it, and your money ends up in Botswana.

When I first received wiring instructions, everyone kept telling me to call the escrow people and read the information back to them. The realtor told me. The escrow people told me. I didn’t know why until I found out about the substitution scam. I guess there are horror stories.

I will be a very happy guy when I get confirmation that the money has been received. I confirmed the information twice and printed out a hardcopy just to be sure. I figure it will be hard for people in Botswana to hack a piece of paper in the USA.

I suppose this will all seem real when I walk onto the land and see the movers carrying boxes in. I may start the tractor and zoom around the yard in circles to celebrate. Is it legal to drink and drive a tractor? We may well find out. I’m entitled. Noah knocked back a few when he got his new property.

That didn’t work out too well, though. Maybe I’ll just have a root beer.

A few days back, I realized I had the same mindset about heaven. I know that’s where I’m headed, but it’s still hard to believe it with my whole heart. Some day I’ll wake up in a place where everything is right. It will be a place where the arrogant, fatuous, transparently false slogans of Apple and Google could be applied without snickering: everything just works, and those who live there are not evil. It’s real. Northern Florida is real, and heaven is real. It’s going to happen.

Hope it won’t be long before I’m blogging via laptop from the north pasture.

A. Mack Moofing

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

John Deere Gear and Lukewarm Decaf

It’s raining, so that means I don’t have to install my dad’s pool pump today. Some people might claim it’s possible to install a pool pump on a rainy day, especially in a shed with a roof. Those people are clearly fools. I am goofing off on the Internet, digesting Egg McMuffins (or as they are called in Miami, “A. Mack Moofings”), and hoping the chicas at McDonald’s gave me decaf instead of the real thing.

I’m still very excited about being a near-tractor-owner. I’m even excited about working on them. My current shop is so jammed, working on anything large is like cleaning the Augean stables (Look how my classical education is paying off), but with the room I’ll have in Marion County, I’ll be able to walk around a tractor without stepping over anything.

My grandmother had a funny expression for small rooms. She said they were “too small to whip a kitten,” and by “whip,” I believe she meant “swing.” As in “too small to swing a cat.” I’m going to have cat-swinging room.

I probably won’t get to work on them a lot. They’re both in good condition, and they’re quality machines. I could always buy a $750 1965 Massey-Ferguson just to have a patient.

I’ve done what every responsible tractor owner does. I went online and ordered a John Deere T-shirt. I also looked at Kubota shirts. They only have a couple of designs that aren’t way too orange or full of heinous polyester. They need to fix that. John Deere has too many green shirts (I don’t wear green), but at least they have cotton.

Someone told me I was not allowed to wear a John Deere hat. Because the garden tractor is small, I’m limited to ball caps. I don’t care. I’ll tell people it’s a big tractor. I’m going to take a fuzzy photo of it, and I’ll hire a midget to sit in the seat to make it look bigger. Either that, or I’ll get the mother of my 3-year-old godson to let me put a fake beard on him.

I found one Kubota shirt that wasn’t too bad. It’s black, with “Kubota” written on the front in Japanese characters. At least it’s SUPPOSED to say “Kubota.” In reality, it may say “Sucker” or even just “Shirt.”

I need to find me a tractor umbrella. The last thing I want is to fry in the sun while running my machines. I wish there were some way to grow grass indoors. Actual grass, I mean.

Time to go look out the window and thank God for the rain.

Asteroid B-612 is Getting Crowded

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The Past Never Completely Dies

The day gets weirder and weirder.

God granted my tractor wishes, and then I realized I had to think about insurance. I didn’t know how to do it. Are tractors vehicles? Do you need vehicle insurance? I wondered. Based on my Googling, I decided they were probably items covered by homeowner’s insurance.

I already had a couple of quotes, but I decided to get some more. I tried to get online quotes, and I got the runaround. I finally called a company. I started talking to an agent.

We started talking about the fact that I was moving from Miami to northern Florida. Gradually, he let me know that he and his wife had lived here. His opinion of Miami was about like mine. He hated it. They left after Hurricane Andrew.

He talked about the horrible schools his wife had attended in Miami. Ghetto nightmares where white kids were not safe. He didn’t mention the racist violence; that’s all me. He said she went to Miami Edison for high school, and Horace Mann for junior high. Those are the wretched schools I would have had to attend, had my mother not battled my dad to get him to send me to private school.

He started talking about her elementary school. Sure enough, it was Miami Shores Elementary. My old school. I told him so. I said I probably went to school with his wife. He asked me what year I was born, and I told him. Same year as the wife. He told me her last name! “Elaina!”, I said. I didn’t know her well, but I knew who she was. Too funny.

The school had seven grades and a thousand students, so I pretty much had to know her. It comes out to around 140 students per grade.

When we got done with the call, I told him to tell his wife I congratulated her on surviving Edison, and I congratulated them both on escaping Miami.

It would be funny if I got insurance through him.

It was an interesting experience, but I was also a bit disturbed. I don’t like remembering the old days. I want to feel disconnected from them. I want them to not exist. Actually, moving to Marion County has its disturbing side, because the worst parts of my childhood took place in Tampa, which is more like Marion County than Miami. Tampa and Marion County smell similar. The plants are similar. Some of the home construction is similar. There were a lot of Marion County homes I refused to consider because they reminded me of those times.

It’s way better than Miami. No doubt about that. And I don’t think I’ll be running into anyone from my past there, except for one law school friend who lives in the area. She’s okay, though, and when I think of the darker times of my past, law school is not what I think of. I had a great time in law school.

Hey, here’s another small world item: Reince Priebus just got canned. A guy from my original college class was president for 8 miserable years, while another guy from that class (Stephanopoulos) covered him for NBC, and then a guy from my law school was chief of staff for the next president.

I wondered how Reince got the job. I don’t mean to pick on anyone, and I don’t really know him, but he seemed very unremarkable when we were in law school together. He was a mover and shaker in student government, but I always thought those people were silly. Student government, I thought, was for people who didn’t have the talent to make it without crass, aggressive self-promotion, and I thought it was undignified for adults to run for student offices. When he made it big, my impression was that he was in way over his head. It may be that I was right. In an office like chief of staff, you want a Rumsfeld or a Cheney. Someone sharp and strong. Reince always looked worried and unsure.

Time to unwind. I may go nuts and have an entire beer.

Still Chewing Through the Straps

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Out of my Way, You Pillars of Salt

Today is a better day than most. I am waiting for a mechanic to give me a report on the farm machinery I intend to buy. For a hundred bucks, a trained diesel mechanic is looking at a farm tractor, a garden tractor, and a gas-powered golf cart for me. If God smiles on me, soon I will receive his report, and I will be cleared for takeoff.

It’s wonderful to know that when I move, I won’t have to begin my northern Florida experience with a month of tractor-shopping. Buying vehicles is like dating. It’s full of pitfalls and the potential for bitter regret. If I get the machines the mechanic is looking at, I’ll be covering all the bases at once, and I’ll be getting a very good price.

I still have a lot to do here. My dad has rental properties, and one is vacant right now. Yesterday I toured it with the realtor who looks after our properties. It was very depressing. The tenants were slobs, even by tenant standards. They painted the dining room walls a dark rust color, in semi-gloss instead of flat. They painted other areas a sickly baby blue, and of course, they got paint on the white popcorn ceiling. They destroyed the vertical blinds. They were told to patch all of their nail and screw holes when the left, so they jammed spackling compound into them, but they didn’t sand them.

Here’s one of their more impressive stunts: they drove a doorknob through a wall and left a patch you wouldn’t believe. Someone slammed the door and drove the doorstop through it, and after that, I guess they figured it was okay to use the wall as a doorstop.

I knew the place needed new kitchen cabinets, but now it looks like it will need to have the bathrooms done. A contractor had the gall to submit a $30,000+ estimate. Dude. It’s a rental. Granite is for people who take care of things. It’s not for tenants.

I would sell it right now, as is, but then I would have to think about capital gains tax. To avoid paying, I have to have a new rental property in mind, and I have to buy it within a few months. Tall order.

Never buy residential rentals. You have to be out of your mind to get into it. Residential tenants have the same respect for your property that convicts have for prisons. They expect homes to be perfect when they move in, and then they live like animals. Commercial tenants are completely different. They expect nothing except walls, and they don’t ask for much. More often than not, they make improvements which they leave behind. And you can evict them FAST. Try that with a home. Even a squatter who came in through a window can hold you off for months.

Here’s another fun item on my list. My dad’s pool pump died. Couldn’t it wait another year? Guess not. I had one delivered, and now I have to install it. In the hottest weather of the year. That will be a joy.

It gets better. The starboard battery bank on my dad’s boat is dead. Somehow, we discharged it so much it laughs at the battery charger. I have to try to charge it with the port engine, using jumper cables. Won’t that be fun? If I don’t get on it today or tomorrow, the boat could sink because the bilge pumps won’t run.

Guess I should make that my top priority. I’ve gotten used to the lovely emerald shade the pool has turned.

On the up side, the mechanic just called, and he thinks the machinery is worth twice what the seller is asking, so there’s some good news. There are a couple of hydraulic leaks, but they’re easy fixes, and the bush hog has a deck tear I should be able to weld up. Hooray for me.

Time to head for the boat, to erase all the good I did with my morning shower. Pray I get it running, and that I can resist the urge to scuttle it.

New Pets for New Home

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Guess I Should Also Think About Furniture

I feel like providing an update on the diesel front.

I finally got some details on the golf cart, tractor, and garden tractor the seller of my new home wants to sell me. The tractor has 1100 hours, and it has a small hydraulic leak the seller can’t find. The garden tractor has 783 hours (Yanmar diesel), and it has a small leak around the PTO shaft. The cart has 308 hours.

The seller says he adds fluid to the tractors after every fourth use.

I looked into hydraulic leaks, and it sounds like I’m not in much danger. When the mechanic looks the machines over, he should be able to tell if there’s a serious problem. Some hydraulic leaks are a big deal, and others are just annoying. The PTO leak on the John Deere sounds trivial. You can buy a new seal for $9.50. The people who sell the seal say it’s easy to install. Which is what you would expect them to say, I grant you.

I told the realtor (our messenger) I would be comfortable at $10K, but if the seller comes back and sticks at $11K, I’ll buy the machines anyway, because that was already a great price.

If what I’ve read is correct, 1100 hours is around 25% of the time a typical tractor will run before needing major work. Given that the tractor is around 17 years old, and assuming I work as much as the seller did, I should be fine for the next 51 years.

The garden tractor is supposedly immortal, except for the mower part, which is called a “deck.” Even that can be repaired, as long as the really big parts aren’t destroyed. I have read about people running them for upwards of 4000 hours. Also, I’m a machinist and welder. Surely I should be able to fix a few of the things that wear out.

According to the small amount of information I’ve been able to find, gas-powered golf carts are good for 5000 hours before they need to be totally redone or scrapped. I figure 308 hours is an acceptable total for a used machine. Even if it blows up, it’s a cheesy 350-cc motor which can’t cost much to fix or replace.

This is exciting. I’m going to have a tractor. Not thrilled at the prospect of mowing, I admit, but…tractor. You can do a lot with a tractor. It’s a tool. And I love buying tools.

The cart will need a radio. I can’t be out there touring the grounds with no tunes. Forget that.

I’m having a hard time finding a mechanic in Marion County who will go look at the machines. Angie’s List and Yelp don’t work all that well in the sticks.

I look forward to posting photos of my farm adventures.

Rise of the Machines

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

You Can’t Have too Many Diesels

Every day I start my prayers with two things. I ask God to do whatever can be done to bring him success in me and in everything I own, and I ask him to separate me from people and spirits that are against him and put me in his presence and the presence of his people. I want God himself to have success. I want him to have a return on his huge investment in me. If you look at the Bible, this is what he has been trying to get all along. He creates people and tells them exactly what to do in order to succeed, and we listen to loser spirits instead. God is a parent who wants his kids to take his helpful advice so he can make their lives work out, so I ask him to help me cooperate.

This is another way of asking him to put his kingdom and his righteousness first in my life. Jesus told us God would take care of our external needs if we put his desires first. It sure seems to work. I can give examples of the ways God is making my life easier.

I was concerned that my dad would not have enough ready cash to buy a house while managing his business. Looks like that’s not going to be an issue. One way and another, money shook loose. I doubt I’ll have to lend him a cent.

I was concerned that my dad might flip out when I started throwing out his awful furniture. He doesn’t even mention it. He walks into rooms where his stuff used to be, and he acts like nothing happened. That’s a good thing, because it’s stupid to move furniture which is worth absolutely nothing. The cost of the move is a total loss.

The seller of the property has some farm machinery I’ll need. He was talking to the realtor about selling it to me, but he took a long time to give me a price. Today, I got the number. It’s excellent. For $11K, he’ll sell me a Kubota tractor with loader, several implements including a bush hog, an E-Z-GO gas-powered cart with a dump bed, and a top-of-the-line John Deere diesel tractor/mower with a cart. That’s so low, I’m embarrassed to counter. I think a reasonable price would be more like $17K. As long as this stuff checks out, I should give him what he wants. He has done a ton of stuff to get the place into shape, free of charge.

This may not be the perfect machinery for my needs, but it will keep me going for a long time, and I’ll be able to get my money out of it if I upgrade.

I’ll need a nitrous system for that cart. I’ll just put that on my list.

I can’t get used to being blessed. It is a strange way of life. When I was living on a kibbutz, there was a death camp survivor who worked in the dining hall. Every time he ended a shift, someone had to go behind him and look for food he had hidden. He would take loaves of bread and hide them in various locations. He couldn’t help it. He had been starved in the past. I feel a little bit like that. So many things have gone wrong in my life; things that had every reason to go right. Now things seem to go right regardless of what I do. How can that be?

I’m getting insurance quotes for the property. They’re asking me whether we’ll have livestock. What kind of livestock? Will we be raising them for profit? Those are nice questions to get, when you’re used to little lots in suburbs.

Here’s my plan for the “farm”: I plan to raise nothing. If I need a couple of steers to cut the property tax, I’ll get them, but the land is for me, not for animals. I want to be able to walk outside without having my neighbors in my face.

In a very short time, we’ll close on the property, and then two weeks later, we get possession. After that, I don’t care what happens to me. Whatever life brings, I will go lie on my face in the grass and feel like the richest person alive.

More developments as they occur.

Where is Mr. Haney When You Need Him?

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Tractor Dilemma

I am still trying to figure out what to do about farm machinery.

As I wrote earlier, the seller of the house I’m moving to wants to sell me his Kubota L3710 tractor and some other stuff. In order to avoid getting hosed, I’ve been studying the Internet to find out what I should do.

Today it occurred to me I might be able to get a bigger machine for less money. My lathe weighs about 4000 pounds, and the Kubota can only lift 1500. I’m not sure what my mill weighs. It would be nice to be able to move these tools myself, without using pry bars for the whole job. A bigger tractor would lift more.

To get a bigger machine, I would have to pick up something older. Is that a smart idea? I don’t know. My grandfather’s old Massey-Fergusons were abused and left outdoors, but they always did what he wanted, and a lot of people on the web say they’ve spend under $5,000 for good machines.

While I was looking into all this, I decided to get people’s opinions on old machinery brands like Ford, Massey-Ferguson, International Harvester, and so on. I learned something very interesting: there are no American tractors now.

That’s not quite true. If you buy a giant machine for tending 10,000 acres of wheat, it may be American. That’s not what I want. I need a typical farm tractor. Those aren’t made here any more.

John Deere sells Japanese tractors, and it’s my understanding that a lot of their stuff is Mexican. Massey-Ferguson sells Indian machinery. Indian! The scariest country of product origin in the machine tool world. The Indians still make line-shaft lathes because their electrical grid is so primitive.

If what I’ve read is right, the American tractor has been dead for a long time. Maybe thirty years. Where was I? Not buying tractors, I guess.

There go my concerns about not buying American. Unless I go antique-shopping, American isn’t an option.

The more I think about it, the more I think I should buy the seller’s tractor, IF I get a good price. If I know I can get my money out of it, no harm done. I can upgrade or downgrade later. If he wants too much, forget it. I won’t need a tractor for weeks after I move, so I don’t have to rush.

Someone on a forum wrote a great tip for buyers: check the reputation of the local dealer when you buy a used tractor, because this is the outfit you will depend on for help. I checked the reputation of the Kubota dealer in Ocala, and I did not find any good news. One buyer who has a Yelp account said the seller refuses to send people out to look at machines, so I suppose you would have to pay to have your broken tractor towed. The buyer said the dealer’s people were irresponsible, extremely slow, and dishonest, more or less.

The dealer responded. You would think they would have begged forgiveness and done their best to fix the problems, or that they would have at least argued. No, they posted what looked like a cut and paste from the boilerplate on their website. “XXX Tractors is dedicated to providing customers with the best possible service and the lowest prices anywhere, with a highly trained staff and a spacious, modern repair facility.” Something of that sort. No denials.

The message I got was, “Maybe this guy is right about us. We don’t give a crap.”

Maybe it’s the greatest tractor dealership on earth, but I have no way of knowing that, based on what I’ve seen so far. And here I am, thinking of buying a tractor they probably sold.

I shouldn’t criticize India without saying people seem to love their tractors. Mahindra tractors get fine reviews. The Koreans are also in the game now. There is a Korean brand named Kioti, and people like it.

I feel like I should try to buy the seller’s machines, and if the price is bad, I should tell him I’m not interested. Good enough.

It would be neat to have an old Ford or something, for a few grand. It would be a hassle, though. Right now I have a tractor in a convenient location where I can look at it and maybe send a mechanic. If I Craigslist an antique, I’ll probably be expected to do business beside a tractor in someone’s side yard, without much opportunity to check it out.

This reminds me of buying my machine tools. Today, I would not hesitate to check out an old mill or lathe. I know what goes wrong with them. Before I had machine tools, I didn’t have that kind of confidence. I couldn’t tell whether the machines were any good or not. Once I’ve used a tractor for a while, I’ll know what to look for when I buy a used tractor. But I’ll have to buy a used tractor in order to get that knowledge.

That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

The answer, of course, is to buy more tools. The more tools I have, the less I will need creepy tractor dealers. And the more tools I have, the more tools I have.

In a completely irrelevant vein, I talked to the realtor today. He talked to the seller and confirmed: I WILL BE ABLE TO SHOOT ON MY PROPERTY! The seller does it all the time. This has to be a dream.

On top of that, I just showed the Miami house I’m trying to sell to a young couple with affluent parents. The couple came alone yesterday, and today the parents came with them. In a Maserati. In expensive clothes. With questions about expanding the house. Could they borrow the plans? Of course they could. Maybe these people are serious. Finally, someone with money.

I don’t know if I can stand any more good news.

More updates as they unfold.

And Here’s the Six-Point Buck I Shot From the Breakfast Nook

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

I Now Hate Miami More Than I Thought Possible

I am in Ocala, otherwise known as the Deplorable Biosphere. In years to come, people like me will flood the area, dressed in MAGA hats and ill-fitting work shorts, to set up their workshops and gardens and prepare the ramparts from which to fire on the smelly liberal masses that will come to steal our food and TVs but certainly not our books or soap.

I was going to go to Ocala alone, but my dad decided to go with me.

We looked at five houses today. Was it five? Let’s see. Blue. Grey. Zebra chair house. Yellow house. House where I ran over the snake. Yes. Five. One was too small. One was too upscale. One was a little remote for my needs. The other two were great.

The first place I checked out is in the northern part of the county. It’s a very odd house. It’s one story, with lots of rooms. A widow lives there, and you can tell estrogen figured way too heavily in the home’s design and decor.

There are so many antiques in the house (and workshop) that if this woman dies, the American antique market will take a plunge that will take a decade to undo itself. When this stuff starts appearing on the market, trying to sell antiques in America will be like trying to sell snow cones in Siberia.

The house has a sewing room, an artist’s studio, a piano room, an office, a special food storage room, about 52 bathrooms, three fireplaces, and enough closet space for Elton John and Rupaul put together.

The thing that sold me was the workshop. The poor lady’s husband died before it could be completed. It’s a building the size of a house, with two central air units. It’s set up for two apartments plus a gigantic work area. The apartments haven’t been drywalled. It doesn’t have compressors yet, but once they’re installed, it will be possible to air condition the entire place. Two floors.

I would finish the downstairs apartment as a metal shop. The upstairs unit could be finished and used for electronics or just running away from the world.

The lot is only ten acres, but you would need a bow and arrow to hit the nearest neighbor’s house, so it’s not cramped. It has thick woods on one side, a cow farm on another, and across a road from a third side, more woods.

I know I would like this place because the husband’s deer stand is still hanging on a tree in the yard. Yes. He shot deer IN HIS YARD. He had a feeder and everything. Is that legal? I don’t care. I’m too lazy to shoot deer. More correctly, I’m too lazy to butcher deer. The shooting…I’m all over that.

The northern part of the county is fantastic. It’s prettier than the southern part. There is even less traffic. The roads are ideal for motorcycles. There are probably fewer snobs. I like it.

The other place I really like is south of the city. Some guy bought 34 acres in two long strips. He cleared one strip and built his house on the other. Together they make a rectangle with proportions similar to a smartphone.

The house is beyond criticism. It’s not very old. It’s big. It has a beautiful downstairs. Upstairs, there is what I would call a second living room. It’s carpeted. It’s comfortable. It has a bunch of storage rooms off of it. I wish I were lying on its floor right now.

The house has a huge garage, and if that’s not enough, there’s a 1000-square-foot cement block outbuilding with garage doors at each end. It has clapboards on it, so it looks like the house. It has a little carport thing on one side, where you can put chairs and goof off all day.

The owner played a dirty trick on us. He gave the realtor the key to his gas-powered EZ-Go, and she told us to take it and tour the whole property. After that, I was hooked.

First we roamed around on the wooded lot. Before I hit the gas, I asked the realtor if there were any animals to worry about, and she said there were two bulls. She said not to worry about them because they never moved. I figured she was joking or talking about concrete bulls, because real bulls can be territorial and crabby. Sure enough, we passed two black bulls sitting in the woods doing nothing. Maybe they were steers. I didn’t ask them to get up so I could check. In any case, they didn’t find us interesting at all. As we were passing them, I ran over a big blacksnake. Well. Better that than fresh manure.

The bulls are tax deflectors. Because there are two bulls on the land, the owner can call it agricultural property and get a property tax break. He has to put up with poop, however. The realtor said we could switch them for goats, which would eat the underbrush and leave the grass alone. Goat poop is easier to deal with than cow poop, but free cow manure would be good for gardening.

We then went through a gate and rode around the cleared lot. It was magnificent. It had big berms of excess dirt; perfect for use as pistol and rifle backstops. It had a big dry pond, which would ordinarily be a flaw, but again, helpful for target practice. You could go down in there and put up a silhouette.

I want this place. It’s more than I wanted to spend, but it would save my dad a lot of money over living where he is now. I would hate to tell you about his current property taxes and insurance.

If there is one thing I’ve learned on this trip, it’s that I hate Miami even more than I thought I did. I can’t believe I’m going back. Ever since I passed Orange County on the way north, I’ve been drinking in my surroundings. I’m like a man who was just rescued from the desert, who knows he’ll be going back soon. I want to stuff myself with northern Florida and make the feeling last when I’m back in El Republico De Los Bananas. This is like dreaming I’m honeymooning with Tyra Banks in the Plaza Hotel and then waking up in a trailer next to Caitlyn Jenner.

It’s time for planning and calculation. Maybe one of these places is ripe for the picking. It can take quite a while for a seller to get realistic about pricing.

Tomorrow I drive back to Bananaburg. I wish it could be the very last time.

I’m a Lonely Frog

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

I Ain’t Got a Home

Time for an update on the house hunt.

To recap, my father is buying a place in northern Florida, and we are both moving up there. We made an offer on a place we liked, but the owners got royally dinged when they bought the place, and their asking price (presumably based on their grandiose opinion of the value) is insane. I had it appraised, and we offered them about 73% of what they asked. Because their asking price is so crazy, we sent a copy of the appraisal to prove we weren’t playing a joke on them.

The contract expired a few days ago. The sellers didn’t respond, so now there is no contract. The realtor said they were shocked by the offer. I’ve been talking to him about other properties, but he says they need a little more time because they might make a counteroffer.

I don’t know if they need time or not. I think six days is plenty of time to come up with a counteroffer on a property which has already been appraised. I think they’re trying to jerk me around. The big problem with that is that I’m not sure I want the house now.

I have a friend who lives up there, and she wisely pointed out that the snowbirds have left the area. They go home when the weather gets warm. They’re the people who buy houses. That means the market will be slow until late fall. On top of that, during this dead time, all the sellers up there will have to maintain their houses and pay for their mortgages and so on. They’re racking up losses every day. New inventory is appearing, the old stuff isn’t going away, and things are looking good from where I sit. I have no incentive to wait around or play games.

I found a couple of new places. One is a huge new house on a lot full of big oaks. It’s very, very nice. It has no shop building, but they’re cheap to build, and they go up fast. Not an issue. There’s a vacant lot next to it, and it would be nice to buy that as well. Problem: several acres of each lot are flood zones. This wouldn’t affect the house or shop, but it would make it hard to subdivide later, and I’m sure it makes the land less desirable. I don’t know how much it matters, but it’s a consideration.

There’s another place that looks good. It’s not far from Micanopy, the town where Doc Hollywood was filmed. The house is halfway between Ocala and Gainesville, which is the site of the University of Florida.

The location is remote with regard to Ocala, but it’s within 20 minutes of the Gainesville Lowe’s, and there are a lot of restaurants nearby. My dad likes to eat lunch in restaurants. Also, the medical care is probably better there. The house is secluded. The lot is ringed with trees. There’s a wooded lot next door, and we might be able to snag it.

The house is big. It has a big front porch, a big back porch, an office, a den, a living room, and two master suites. The lot varies in elevation, which means it comes with its own pistol backstop. Not bad.

It has no workshop, but again, this is something that can be corrected easily.

The dirt is good. It’s something called Blichton sand. By Florida standards, it’s above average. You can grow things in it.

The current owners have decorated the place with citrus trees and blueberry bushes. Sounds nice, but a lot of that would have to go. They did something really stupid: they ran the driveway right up the center of the property, and they put trees on either side. A driveway on a rural property is supposed to be beside the fence so it doesn’t cut the land up. The driveway is grass except for the part by the house and the part by the road, so moving it would not be hard. Anyway, most of those trees would have to be cut.

The citrus trees are doomed anyway. The citrus blight which is destroying crops all over the world is going to find these trees eventually.

I’m not going to sweat. I’m not going to let anyone rip my dad off. I have choices. The house we made an offer on is fine, and so is the one with the porches. Both are infinitely superior to anything in Miami.

I hope I’ll have good news soon.

Suspense

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Miami Departure Countdown Clock in Action

My big thrill for today is waiting to see whether my dad’s offer on a house has been accepted.

It’s hard to decide what I want. The house is great, and boy, do I hate Miami. Yesterday I got a sudden impression of what it would be like to be a couple of hundreds of yards from the new house, parked in a lawn chair under my own trees, with a beer cooler by my side. It was overwhelming. That makes me hope the offer will be accepted. Then I think about the possibility that my appraisal was too high, and I sort of hope we’ll be rejected so we can start over.

I found another place with potential. It’s 10 acres near Reddick, Florida. The lot is heavily wooded, with maybe seven acres cleared in the middle. The cleared area has blueberry bushes and apple trees. It’s more remote than the offer house, but “remote” is a tricky term up there. It’s remote in the sense that there are fewer small properties near it, but it’s just as close to important stuff as the offer house.

The Reddick house is next to a 10-acre lot covered with trees. If I could get ahold of that, how sweet life would be. I could shoot all I wanted. I would never see the neighbors unless I ran into them at Winn-Dixie or my ghillie suit slipped. Super nice. Also, I would be closer to Gainesville, which has certain attractions, such as real hospitals.

Today I read about a shooting on Miami Beach. It happened near the Fontainebleau, which used to be the number one luxury hotel on the Beach. I don’t know what happened, but many people who commented on the story had the same idea: the increase in black tourism may be the problem.

I hate to get into racial issues, because everyone deserves a fair chance to be evaluated as an individual. Nonetheless, facts are facts. Since the Beach became a popular black destination, things have gone downhill. Violence has increased a great deal.

In the past, the Beach was popular with foreigners. For some inexplicable reason, they think Miami Beach is a great place to visit. The beach itself is mediocre and crowded. There is no natural beauty. There is nothing to do except drink and sit in the sun. The traffic is an abomination. Virtually any of the better islands in the Bahamas is vastly superior. Nonetheless, Europeans kept coming. Then the rap kids started showing up, and guns started going off at all hours. People were scared. According to some online source I found, 70% of the money that pours into the Beach comes from foreigners, so when American blacks started showing up in numbers, it was very bad for the local economy. They don’t spend. Germans get drunk in expensive bars. Our new tourists drink from their own bottles and smoke dope. They like free entertainment, like walking and standing around.

The demographic change on the Beach has also freaked out the locals. The Beach used to be a refuge for gays, Jews, and liberal flakes. Now they have a problem. Their standard of living has dropped, and they’re afraid of violent crime, but their liberal fantasies make it impossible for them to discuss and acknowledge the reason. They can leave, but they can’t talk about what’s happening.

Various people are trying to change the cultural climate. At least that’s what journalists claim. Supposedly, movers and shakers who see where things are headed are quietly promoting events intended to draw white people and disrupt Black Beach Week. Of course, they’re being accused of racism. Whatever. It won’t work, so it doesn’t matter.

The Beach’s problems are getting a lot of attention, but all of Miami is a mess. Once you leave the southern part at the end of I-95, you are pretty much in ghetto territory until you get to the next county. The business areas aren’t too ghetto, but the residential areas are. There is a small ghetto directly north of my area. There is another small ghetto to the west. Down south a few miles, you run into another ghetto which is larger. Miami is being swallowed up. Cubans have pushed out to the west, and it looks like their areas will be the closest thing to large normal neighborhoods for the foreseeable future.

I don’t want to be here when times get bad. People who think ghetto think victimhood. They look at people who have more than they do, and they think it was stolen from them. They forget about their felonies, laziness, and riots, which actually caused their poverty. When life gets hard, they will be in my neighborhood, trying to take whatever they can, and they’ll see local residents as the bad guys. It won’t be looting. It will “reparations.”

I read about EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapons today. I think their danger is exaggerated, but maybe it’s not. Anyway, some experts believe that if EMP weapons go off here and affect transportation and electricity, people in suburbs and cities will starve while the problems are fixed. Imagine that. Folks who are used to getting EBT cards and buying all the chips and soda they want will be hungry. Most folks do not realize how fragile the food supply system is. If it went down for one week, most city people here would begin to starve. The food you see on grocery shelves looks abundant, but when deliveries stop coming, it can disappear in one day. I doubt a serious EMP strike will happen, but other types of logistics disruptions are possible, and I don’t want to be around if they occur.

The farm I’m looking at has enough ground to grow food. It has its own well. It has a generator. I can have chickens there. I can have cattle. I would be surrounded by nice Christian people who would cooperate with each other instead of invading each other’s homes. They would even cooperate in armed defense. That sounds pretty good to me.

Sometimes people can be perched on the edge of catastrophe and not know it. Maybe that’s where dependent city dwellers and suburbanites are right now.

If I’m out in the country when all goes sour, what will my neighbors and I do about friends who want to come join us? Scary thought. I want to be helpful, but if too many people get in a lifeboat, it sinks. When that happens, preparations become completely worthless. Shouldn’t responsible people be allowed to benefit from the rewards of their forethought? One would think so.

It would be almost funny to see city dwellers come out to the country to attack. It’s hard to find cover in the country. It’s hard to approach a house without being seen. They don’t know how to shoot. Their firearms tend to be cheap, and they rely on pistols, not rifles. If you come at me with a pistol at rifle range, you will be dead long before I can make out your face. I can kill your vehicle before you make it up my driveway. Country people have scoped rifles, and they buy ammunition in bulk. It’s nothing to have 5,000 rounds on hand. Big buys are not always motivated by fear. Buying in bulk is responsible, because it cuts down on shipping costs. I have a huge amount of ammunition, and I wasn’t even thinking of defense when I got it. But now it’s there if I need it, so…

It would be nice to see urban and suburban Americans repent and give up the liberal victimhood lie. That’s the preferable outcome. Brotherhood is the best option. It won’t happen, though. The entitlement mindset is too entrenched. A small minority will come around, and I say thank God for them. The rest, well, you can’t help them. They’re like the people who stood in shoulder-deep water, clawing at the hull of the ark.

I hope I’m out of here soon. Please pray for me, and pray for all the people in America who need to drop their denial and come to God’s side.

Green With Desire

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Plus Wild Guesses About Foreign Policy

I am trying to make sense of the Syria bombing.

I think it’s safe to say that most Trump voters want the US to spend less time being the adult in a room full of children. We have spent a lot of time trying to save nations that didn’t deserve or consent to be saved. To provide two examples, the Somalis and Afghans aren’t ready for civilization. The South Vietnamese weren’t unified in support of freedom and capitalism. The Iraqis are still pretty wobbly. We assume everyone loves democracy, but a lot of people in Iraq actually prefer a dictatorship; something about having a big, strong scary warlord look after them.

Trump the candidate was against intervening too much in the affairs of other countries. Trump the president just bombed Syria over a completely internal matter: the gassing of Syrians by the Syrian government. What a bizarre week this has been. Many liberals actually took a break from vandalizing Ivana Trump shoe displays in malls to back up Trump’s Syrian adventure. Many conservatives are wondering if Trump has gone native in liberal, globalist DC.

To add to the complexity, Trump greatly offended Vladimir Putin when he bombed Syria. The baseless leftist narrative up till now has been that Trump is Putin’s puppet. Somehow, Putin bribed a billionaire to run for president and do his bidding. Because it’s so easy to find things a billionaire can’t get without Putin’s help. Such as…???

Trump gave up billions of dollars in potential earnings to become president, yet we’re supposed to believe he has some venal motive involving compensation from Putin. What compensation could Putin offer that would begin to make up for what Trump gave up voluntarily? No such compensation exists.

Liberals could not understand that, so they pushed the ridiculous Russian Connection. What can they say now? That it’s an inside job? That Putin got Trump to bomb Syria to cover up their ties? It looks like the Russia canard is finally dead, except among the truly insane.

Maybe nuclear war will convince the stragglers Trump is sincere.

Some conservatives like the fact that Trump showed courage and initiative. Obama’s foreign policy consisted mostly of apologizing and selling out American workers. Trump realizes he’s our president, not China’s or Mexico’s. It’s good that Trump is not letting us get pushed around quite so much. I can see why people are happy he took some sort of stand on something.

I’m not sure what to think of the attack. I don’t read the news as much as I used to. My overall impression is that what Trump did will work out well, provided he stops now.

It’s hard to argue with anyone who sends 59 affordable missiles, with no boots on the ground, to kill totalitarian goons who use poison gas on civilians (or anyone else). You can argue that every nation in the world has an interest in deterring the use of gas. But now the Syrians, no doubt with Russia’s help, are attacking the gassed area again, with conventional weapons. Trump needs to let that slide. When you go from punishing the use of gas to punishing other countries for suppressing rebels, you cross the line from reasonable intervention to overweening nannyism. All over the world, various nations are attacking each other with conventional weapons, and we need to understand that it’s not always (or often) our place to jump in and break it up. Often, it’s not even possible to do an effective job. We just waste money and lives, and we make the world resent us even more.

If Trump stays out of Syria now, in my opinion, it will show he knows what he’s doing. If he decides to be the Lone Ranger plus the Magnificent Seven, it will suggest he’s winging it and forgetting all about his campaign platform.

Whatever he does, he needs to coerce the Muslims to accept Syrian refugees. It’s amazing that we’re expected to take them when the Saudis are afraid of them.

It’s hard to guess what he’ll do. He has been a conservative for less time than it takes paint to dry, so for all we know, he could morph into Obama this year. How sincere is his conversion? No one knows.

If he goes all New World Order on us, at least we got Gorsuch out of it, and we stopped Hillary Clinton. Unless two Supreme Court justices die in the near future, we should have a relatively sane panel up there determining our fate. That’s a big deal. One more Ginsburg would almost be grounds for mass suicide. Cuba-style property seizures and the internment of conservative undesirables would be less than a decade away.

Here is how I feel: Ronald Reagan and George Washington didn’t run in 2016, so we voted as well as we could. Trump is much better than the president we deserve, so I am content.

In other news, I am planning to make an offer on a house. My dad and I made a deal a long time ago, and now he’s holding up his end. He’s going to get a place up north, and I will go with him and look after him. For what we are willing to spend, given the location constraints you get with an elderly person, we are pretty much limited to properties under 25 acres. We found a neat place in northern Florida, and I am hoping we can work something out with the sellers.

I can put up a photo or two. The green paint is not what I would have gone with, but it’s helpful if it discourages other buyers.

The place comes with a big outbuilding, a small horse barn, and a lonnnnnnnng driveway with a sturdy steel gate. You can see a grand total of one other house from the yard. There is a big 3-car garage which will be perfect for machine tools and a split air conditioner. I would rather have 300 acres farther out, but this is good enough. It’s a whole lot better than what I expected.

The property appraised for much less than the asking price, so that’s a concern. The sellers got royally taken when they bought the farm, and they may not realize that yet. When they get their own appraisal, maybe they’ll see things our way.

Some people are surprised I paid for an appraisal already. I don’t get that. How else would I know what to offer? Realtors pull listing prices out of thin air. Also, appraising is not a guessing game. There are rules and tables and so on. You have to be trained and licensed. It’s much better than relying on your gut instinct. That being said, my gut instinct was pretty close to the appraised value.

If I lose a few hundred bucks because the sellers won’t listen to reality, good for me. It beats overpaying by a hundred grand.

Obvious.

I don’t think anyone should criticize me, given that the sellers overpaid by maybe $200,000.

I can’t wait to leave Miami. There is literally nothing here I will miss. You don’t have to worry about me turning into a pillar of salt. To me, “goodbye” means “goodbye.” Ask anyone I’ve cut loose. I don’t come around a week later asking to be taken back. I amaze people with my clean breaks. I don’t miss the friends I cut off. I don’t miss anyone I dated. If I decided to rid myself of you, it was because you made me miserable and made my mind up for me.

My dad has had it with Miami, too. The traffic is much worse than it was even five years ago, and the people are as rude as ever. He can’t really get around any more; he forgets where he’s going. If he has to go anywhere other than a few very familiar places, I have to drive him. Maybe in northern Florida, with its simple grid and low traffic, he would be able to do a little more driving without fear of becoming a silver alert.

The other night, I was lying in bed, and I started imagining how nice it would be not to have the neighbors’ security lights shining in my window, and to be awakened by the alarm clock instead of construction crews and garbage men playing rap music on their truck radios. I can’t even imagine it. And what does a dark sky look like? What does twilight look like? Do they have twilight in northern Florida? We don’t have it here. It’s sunny, then a little grey appears in the sky, and then BLAM, it’s dark. Then, if it’s Saturday night and you’re trying to sleep so you can get up early for church, the loud salsa music starts.

If this property doesn’t work, I’m going back to the list to check the next two options. I will not waste time.

What’s happening is the breaking of a stronghold. I chose Miami. I chose rebellion. I chose to turn down a life of prayer. I gave myself to the filthy spirits that run South Florida, and they held on tight. Then I wised up, and it took me quite some time to break the chains I had put on myself. You can’t expect God to jump up and rescue you instantly when your problems were caused by rejecting him. It will be very kind of God to save me at all. I’m not upset that it took so long. I’m just glad he’s willing to do it while I’m still alive and relatively able.

Maybe if the Norks bomb Miami and Atlanta, I’ll be far enough away to avoid fallout and grow my own food. The farm has a well and a generator. Whatever happens, it will beat being in Miami, surrounded by God-hating throngs of people who will gladly invade my house and take what I have just because I’m an old white Christian who supports Israel and voted for Trump. Miami is mostly ghettos, and ghetto people don’t take care of themselves. They let other people care of them, in exchange for votes. They are not prepared for an interruption of the food supply. They don’t save money. If life gets hard, they will invade homes to loot, and if they find the residents inside, they will punish them as 1% oppressors.

You don’t have to be a white supremacist to be concerned about anti-white racism. It’s very real, it’s widespread, it’s extremely cruel and ruthless (because it’s based on a victimhood mentality) and it’s nothing to take lightly. It simmers all the time, but as I personally witnessed after Hurricane Andrew, disasters make it boil over into plain view. We can’t change it, but we can make some effort to protect ourselves with distance. And there are some places where whites, blacks, and Mexicans are not at each other’s throats, believe it or not.

After Andrew, many people had to sit in their front yards holding firearms. And that was just a hurricane. The looters still had food, and the government was busy helping them with their needs. They didn’t loot because of need; it was just sorriness and meanness. A lot of people are just waiting for an excuse to hurt others.

No one, regardless of race, should live within 20 miles of a ghetto. I’m about two miles away from two ghettos, and seedy, violent downtown Miami is only five miles away.

I would appreciate prayers regarding my choice of geographical location and the purchase of a house. I don’t know what I’m doing. Only God knows where I should be.

Thanks for any help you can give me. I look forward to blogging my move.

The Search for Eden Continues

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Right Idea; Wrong Planet

I am still waiting for God’s clear guidance on where I should move.

Yesterday, a complication was introduced. I started thinking about places farther north than Marion County, Florida.

If I want to live in Florida in an area which isn’t hideous scrub land, and where I’m less than 30 minutes from a grocery store, I am pretty much limited to 20 acres. I don’t feel comfortable going past the price level that tops out with that much acreage.

I would really like to be able to go for walks on my own land without having the neighbors wave at me from their front porch. I also want to be able to shoot high-powered rifles without hearing a lot of nonsense from neighbors. You can come close to these goals on less than 20 acres, but you can’t quite get there.

I started looking for stuff in the hilly areas of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I like places in the mountains because the air is cooler and I wouldn’t be living on something resembling a pool table. At the same time, I would want a considerable amount of flat land, because you can’t do much with land that’s mostly vertical. Land is cheaper up there than it is in Florida.

One of the issues with moving to the area where Georgia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee come together is that some of the counties have become infested with Floridians. These people can’t drive; they go up and down hills at 20 mph with their brakes on, holding everyone up. They are rude. They are also likely to turn nice places into little copies of Doral and Hialeah (particularly unpleasant neighborhoods in Miami). I don’t want to move eight hundred miles to get away from Spanish and then hear it every time I try to buy something at the grocery store.

I don’t know how bad the Miamization of the Carolina mountains has become. Maybe it’s not too bad. I know I would not want to be anywhere near the North Carolina towns of Highlands and Cashiers. My parents had a place in Cashiers a long time ago, and the Florida people were already thick.

Here’s the other thing: given that I don’t want to be around Miamians, do I really want to be around Appalachian people?

I’m from Appalachia. My people come from Eastern Kentucky. I would never live in Eastern Kentucky, because of the racism and love of ignorance. I don’t want to hear the word “nigger” every time someone talks about a basketball game. When I’m around people who talk like that, even though they’re a lot like me (and may be related to me), I feel alone. I feel like a Jew passing for German among the Nazis, or a closeted Republican on a movie set in California. It makes me reluctant to get close to anyone new.

When we had our place in Cashiers, I learned that North Carolina hill people, though somewhat more responsible and capable than Eastern Kentucky people, were possibly even more bigoted. They really hated blacks. My dad made a friend of a deputy sheriff up there, and the things this man said about black people were horrendous. He was a public official, and I guess everyone approved of his mindset, because he didn’t get fired or sent off to sensitivity training (which didn’t exist yet).

I’m sure a lot of bad things happened to black people who were accosted by the cops in Jackson County. I remember the deputy saying something about running off a part-black prison road crew. I believe he expected trouble from the other locals.

I don’t want to live in a place where racial prejudice toward blacks is heavy. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to live in a primarily black area, because then I’d be the one suffering from racist persecution, and no one cares about victims of black racism. When it happens to you, you are on your own.

What if I had a choice between living in a place where blacks were treated badly or a place where whites were treated badly? Not a pleasant question. I would have to put my safety first.

Central and northern Florida are interesting, because they seem to be places where there is little racial friction. If you visit Ocala or Orlando, you’ll see a lot of black and white people sitting in restaurants together or walking together. That’s unusual in Miami. I’ve also seen a lot of mixed families in Orlando.

In Miami, you’ll see a lot of mixed people. You’ll see brown people who clearly have a lot of black blood. But you won’t see them sitting with black people. They sit with other brown people. It’s strange; many Cubans have black blood, and it shows, but they still have issues with black people.

Miami is full of racial tension, but people don’t talk about it, because most of it comes from Latins and blacks. If you’re white and you say anything about it, you’re automatically considered racist. A big percentage of Cubans do not like black people, and it’s very hard for blacks to get jobs in Latin-controlled Miami. Latins also treat each other better in commerce, and they are often hard on white people. Blacks have a lot of animosity toward whites and Latins. That seems to be true everywhere, and because no one talks about it, it won’t change any time soon.

There are some very good things about Appalachia. People there are polite. They are overwhelmingly Christian. They’re culturally similar to me in many respects. The land is beautiful. You can grow things there. Self-righteous, provincial bicoastal culture is less powerful there. You don’t have to worry about gay men having naked parades. Yet. The cost of living is low. People speak English. There isn’t much traffic. You can get away from humanity if you want to.

Another interesting thing about Appalachia is that construction is much better than it is here in Miami. No one here can do anything right. Walls are crooked, doors don’t fit, and so on. Miami contractors get very angry when you show them how bad their work is, and they blame you for being too picky. In Appalachia (and just about every other place outside South Florida), you can get a house that’s built correctly, and you can get repair people who aren’t completely inept and lazy.

I don’t think I’ll move to Appalachia. Marion County looks too good. The winters are a joke. The people are great. The county is dominated by conservatives. I think I’ll stick with the plan.

Maybe I shouldn’t air my inner thoughts as I deliberate, but I like shining sunlight on things. At least when I’m not the object of scrutiny!

I look forward to a better world, where I don’t have to weigh the impact of different types of foolishness and evil before making a move.